The Long Winters / Centro-matic

Playing in Fog
Publication date: 
April 16, 2002
Monday, April 15, 2002

We didn't get to see headliner Varnaline, due to a sinister tradition known as "Brickday" wherein friends of ours call in sick and drink all day in various and sundry bars throughout the city. Daz was never really one to drink thru the afternoon and carry on into the night, hence the splitting headache that rendered her unable to stay for a band she truly digs. But before illness forced us to leave...

We first saw Denton, Texas' Centro-matic as a duo last year when they opened for M. Ward at The Covered Wagon. We loved their mix of sweet folky melodies and gruff plaintive vocals. They returned to SF as a quartet this time around, which made their sound a lot harder. Where she previously thought they'd be a good match for Califone, Squid suddenly wanted to see them in an opening slot for Grandaddy. We got a good feeling about Centro-matic and look forward to seeing what they get up to next.

The Long Winters, God Damnit! The only opening act important enough to make Squid nervously drag poor Daz out of a bar and across town! The Long Winters are the handiwork of Squid's favorite singer/songwriter, John Roderick. Their album, "The Worst You Can Do Is Harm", which was produced by Death Cab For Cutie's Chris Walla, remained untouched in Squid's cd changer for two months. This was the second time seeing the full band, songs like 'Unsalted Butter', came together this time and truly rocked. Soaring harmonies were provided as ever by keys player Sean Nelson, he of Harvey Danger fame. And as if on cue, we were rewarded with the best for last: 'Scent of Lime', (which has inadvertantly become a theme song around the office) and the perfect 'Medicine Cabinet Pirate'. Squid will recommend very few albums with this particular degree of it now!